The town of Unalaska – on Unalaska Island – is having its problems with pesky scavenger birds.
Since this island in the Aleutians is known for its miserable weather, it makes a person wonder why any scavenger birds would make this place their home. It all boils down to one thing – food. There’s plenty of the stuff in Unalaska, especially in nearby Dutch Harbor, one of the largest fishing ports in the world. These scavengers raid the city dumps which are full of dead, putrefying fish. They are even so bold as to swing down upon returning fishing boats, even upon the beds of pickup trucks, to steal fish.
These scavengers are even known to attack people. The town of Unalaska, with a population of only about 4,700, reports more than ten cases of people needing medical treatment each year from attacks of these scavengers. To make matters worse, these pesky birds make their nests on public buildings and other man-made structures. The local post office is particularly notorious as a nesting place for these pests – and for their attacks on people.
Why doesn’t someone do something about these horrible scavengers? Why don’t the townspeople shoot or poison them for all the trouble they cause? It’s because these pests are a protected species. In fact, throughout America they were once an endangered species. For these scavenger birds are not seagulls or crows or ravens or even pigeons. They are the national bird of the United States, the American bald eagle. And although many Americans may never see one in their lifetime, there are hundreds of them in Unalaska where they constitute the biggest nuisance to its residents.
How could such a noble bird become such a tiresome nuisance? It’s simple. In Unalaska and Dutch Harbor the bald eagle is offered free meals and a life free of challenges. He doesn’t have to hunt or catch anything himself. The fishing boats and city dumps bring him everything he needs. Adversity has been removed from his daily existence.
And what is it than turns people into lethargic and troublesome jerks? Isn’t it the very prosperity and leisure that we seek? Isn’t it a life free of challenges and full of freebees? America has never been better fed at any time in its history as it is today, yet it’s never been so full of complainers and whiners. It seems as though the more we are given the less appreciative we become. We’re like the noisy, pesky, and belligerent bald eagles of Unalaska. We’ve got it made and yet we’re so hostile to each other, accusing each other of every injustice.
We desperately need a change of heart and mind. We need to start counting the blessings that God’s poured into our lives, the sins He’s forgiven, the opportunities He’s opened, and the calamities He’s protected us from. We need to say “thank you” more often. If we continue to behave like ungrateful beasts God can very easily show us what life can be like without His love and care. The time may come when we will long for these present “terrible times” we find ourselves in.
In the Bible we are commanded to “Bless the Lord and forget none of His benefits” (Psalm 103:2) and “to give thanks in every situation” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Dear Father in heaven, please open my eyes to blessings You’ve poured into my life and to the good in the people that surround me. Please, dear Lord, cultivate in me an attitude of gratitude. And should troubles come, help me to understand their redeeming value in making me a better human being. Amen.
If you are dealing with this issue, you do not need to face the challenge alone. Jesus has conquered every challenge so you can move from your present situation to a life of overcoming hope. Invite him to lead you in your journey. He will forgive, comfort, and heal you.
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